Express's muddling of stories clears nothing up
A recent article in the Express claims that the former Ukip leader was “spectacularly cleared” of misusing EU funds over expenses paid to his assistants in Brussels.
The piece goes on to explain that recent reports in “left-wing media” (e.g. here) stated that several MEPs deployed their EU assistants to carry out national party work in the UK, which is against the Members’ Code of Conduct.
In support of its claim, The Express published a letter dated 16 Nov 2016 from the European Parliament’s Directorate General for Finance.
The problem is that the letter is not related to the claims made by the other media last week.
The letter is a simple confirmation that the books of the assistants employed by Mr Farage were kept in accordance to the Parliament’s requirements and that they were sent on time by the MEPs paying agent (i.e. and independent accountant or book-keeper tasked with managing the MEP’s assistance budget).
This annual accountancy exercise, which the letter refers to, does not evaluate the nature of the work carried out by MEPs assistants, which is the focus of the inquiry reported in earlier stories.
In short - the letter does not form part of the inquiry for alleged misuse of funds by several Ukip MEPs, and therefore cannot possibly clear or convict anyone of anything.
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